Staten His Intentions

West Virginia's most recent addition to its basketball roster, Juwan Staten, has traveled an interesting path since being ranked among the nation's top recruits during his time at Oak Hill Academy. But the point guard told on Sunday afternoon that he was content at the end of a journey that led him to Morgantown.

Staten, a 6-foot, 180-pound point guard, decided at the end of the 2010-11 season -- his first in college basketball -- that the Dayton program he was a part of was not a good fit, even after he led the Atlantic 10 Conference in assists and made its all-rookie team.

So he decided to transfer, and had settled on Penn State by late April. But that was before Nittany Lions coach Ed DeChellis stunned the college basketball world by leaving PSU to take the job at Navy in late May.

That put Staten in limbo again, but WVU and its head coach, Bob Huggins, gave Staten another option -- one he quickly took advantage of.

"When Coach DeChellis called me and let me know he was leaving, we got a release from Penn State," Staten said Sunday afternoon. "Miami of Florida, South Carolina, Louisville, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia were the schools that contacted me. Because of timeframes and the situation with schools, I only visited West Virginia."

That lone visit was enough, as several factors combined to sufficiently impress the guard enough to cause him to commit to become a Mountaineer during his visit over the weekend of June 3-4.

Like his new teammate Aaric Murray, Staten announced his intention to transfer to WVU via Twitter, saying "After this long wait, I have finally decided where I will finish out my collegiate basketball career...West Virginia University!" while on campus on Saturday.

"It was a nice town, definitely a college town," Staten said. "I gathered that on my visit. Great facilities. The strength and conditioning coach is great. They seem to have a perfect plan put together to make the players better on and off the court. All the coaches were nice people, and Coach Huggins is just a great coach. I think his resume speaks for itself. It was just a great place.

"I talked to Coach Huggins and Coach Harrison. The situation with the school, as far as them having a senior point guard graduating after this year [Truck Bryant], the style of play Coach Huggins is looking to get to -- which is the way he played at Cincinnati, the uptempo style -- the recruits he was bringing in that will be there when I get there, those were all factors that went into my decision."

That style of play, as well as Huggins' track record of sending players to the NBA, was enough to convince Staten that he wanted to finish his college career at WVU.

"I like to push the ball, play fast, play uptempo," Staten said. "I like to get in the lane and create a lot of things for myself and my teammates, whether it's dumping it off to the big man, kicking it out to shooters, scoring inside or hitting pull-ups. That's really my type of game.

"Coach Huggins is a coach that demands a lot, but he also gives a lot of freedom. I gathered that as long as you work hard, play great defense and share the ball, Coach Huggins gives you a lot of freedom on the offensive end. He's definitely looking to push the ball more and have more of an uptempo team. That's definitely right up my alley. That's something I'm familiar with, and that's definitely a plus.

"And with Coach Huggins, I know he's a great coach. He's a tough coach, but he's also a great coach that can prepare me to get to the next level, and that's my ultimate goal."

Staten will get started on that process quickly. He said he plans to move to Morgantown on June 23, in time to start classes during the second summer term on June 27.

Then, perhaps the hardest part of the journey will start for Staten: the waiting. As a transfer, he will have to sit out the 2011-12 season before having three years to play three beginning in 2012-13.

"I'm definitely going to take the time to learn the system, learn the things Coach Huggins likes and the kinds of things he doesn't like," Staten said of his intentions during the year off.

"I'll learn my teammates very well, be a good teammate to them, try to help them out with the kinds of things I've encountered over my year in college. I'll try to learn as much from the coaches as I can, as much from my teammates as I can, and hopefully improve on all aspects of my game -- my left hand, and especially my jump shooting. Hopefully I can be a great fit for the team."

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